Home L-Mount Alliance Panasonic’s new Lumix S5 lightweight arrives. Four lightweight f/1.8 lenses to launch...

Panasonic’s new Lumix S5 lightweight arrives. Four lightweight f/1.8 lenses to launch soon


Panasonic’s mini S1, the S5 is finally here. As the worst-kept launch secret of the year, about the only thing we didn’t know, was the price. It will be £1,799 for the body and £1,999 for the kit, including the 20-60mm Panasonic Lumix S. The price is right, and less than I suggested on August 20. Since the S 20-60mm costs over £600, paying the £200 the premium for the kit is the way to go.

The S5 is a fascinating camera for L-Mount fans, especially those who have cut their teeth on the Leica SL or Panasonic S1 and have acquired a few lenses.

Here is the launch video which, as you will see, spends a lot of time talking about video, although we can assume that the S5 is just as competent when it comes to still photography.


About the same size as its G9 micro four-thirds stablemate, the S5 is a significantly more compact platform for the gradually emerging list of smaller full-frame lenses. It will be a perfect companion for the little Sigma 45mm f/2.8, for instance, and will look and feel far more sprightly with M-mount manual lenses.

The new camera uses the same 24MP CMOS sensor found in the S1, with an ISO range of 100-51,200. It has a 1.85M dot fully articulating touchscreen while the electronic viewfinder sports 2.36M dots, quite a comedown from the huge units in the S1 and the Leica SL2. The camera features a smaller battery than the S1, the new DMW-BLK22 which is claimed to push up to 440 shots or as many as 470 if used only with the EVF.

Panasonic announced a new lightweight f/1.8 portrait lens to complement the smaller dimensions of the S5 and has promised three compact primes in 24, 35 and 50mm for launch in the near future. All are expected to offer the same f/1.8 maximum aperture, something that many L-Mount owners have been asking for. Some believe that too much emphasis has been placed on super-fast—and therefore super heavy—primes when most general photography is done at smaller apertures.

The rush to smaller full-frame mirrorless cameras has started. Sony is said to be ready to launch a new range of super-compact cameras which will be smaller than the A7 series and probably not much larger than the company’s APS-C models. Click here to read more.


While not quite as compact or as light as the Sony a7, the S5 is almost there and heads off the criticism that both Leica and Panasonic have attracted over the weight of their L-Mount cameras. With an aluminium body, the S5 is built to the same robust quality standards as the S1 and offers impressive dual image stabilisation, combining the IBIS with lens stabilisation where compatible. This gives an up to 6.5 stop advantage. The autofocus system is claimed to be much faster, with less focus hunt, particularly in low-light situations.

Above: Our chart shows the position of the new S5 in the L-Mount camera line-up. It is competitive, both in cash and in size/weight

Click the button below to view the Macfilos L-Mount Lens database. We will be updating it soon with details of the lenses announced today by Panasonic.

Chris Nichols: “The camera Panasonic really needed right now…”

Press release

New Hybrid Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera, the LUMIX S5

Featuring Exceptional Image Quality in High Sensitivity Photo/Video And Stunning Mobility

Panasonic is delighted to announce the new LUMIX S5, a new hybrid full-frame mirrorless camera that achieves both excellent performance in photo/video and stunning mobility for serious photographers and videographers.

At the heart of the camera, the LUMIX S5 contains a 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor that boasts a wide dynamic range and high sensitivity performance. The LUMIX S5 further realises recording maximum ISO 51,200 crystal-clear high sensitivity video with the adoption of the Dual Native ISO technology.

As a pioneer of photo/video hybrid mirrorless cameras, LUMIX has the largest lineup of cameras that record 4K 10-bit video1. As the latest member of the family, the LUMIX S5 is capable of 4K 60p/50p4:2:0 10-bit, and 4K 30p/25p 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording. It is also capable of 4K 60p/50p 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output. For 4K 30p 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording, there is no time limit. Panasonic’s exceptional heat dispersion technology delivers stable, long-time video recording. The LUMIX S5 provides 14+ stops of dynamic range, which is as wide as those of cinema cameras, and V-Log / V-Gamut compatibility with popular colorimetry called “VariCam Look.” A variety of recording formats and modes including 4:3 Anamorphic mode, Slow & Quick Motion, 4K/60p interval shooting and 4K HDR are also provided.

The LUMIX S5 boasts high-speed, high-precision AF (Auto Focus) in both photo shooting and video recording that are made possible with advanced deep-learning technology featuring real-time detection of the subject’s type and features such as human eye, face, head and body.

Combining the Body I.S. (5-axis) in the camera and the O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser, 2-axis) in the LUMIX S Series lens, the 5-axis Dual I.S.2 prevents blurred images with the use of a 6.5-stop2 slower shutter speed. The splash/dust-resistant rugged design provides professional photographers with high reliability.

To enhance the photographic experience, the 96-megapixel High Resolution Mode (JPEG/RAW), Live View Composite function and HLG Photo mode are available.

Thanks to the high energy efficiency and a new 2,200 mAh high-capacity battery, it can capture approximately 470 pictures (using the LVF) / 1,500 pictures (in Power Save LVF mode). Power and charging are possible via the USB-C port. Double SD Card slot (UHS-IIx1 and UHS-I x1), 5GHz/2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity are also supported. The LUMIX S Series full-frame mirrorless camera system adopts the L-Mount system to provide users with a diverse and future-proof range of products from Panasonic, Leica Camera and Sigma. Panasonic now offers four innovative models in the LUMIX S Series of full-frame Digital Single Lens Mirrorless cameras – the S1R, the S1, the S1H, and the new S5. The LUMIX S1R is ideal for taking high-resolution images, the LUMIX S1 is an advanced hybrid camera for high-quality photos and videos, and the LUMIX S1H is designed and developed specifically for film production. The LUMIX S5 packs the essence of these conventional S Series cameras in a compact, lightweight body. With this lineup, Panasonic is committed to meeting the demands of all creators by challenging the constant evolution of the photo/video culture in today’s new digital era.

1 Of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, as of September 2, 2020.

2 Based on the CIPA standard Yaw/Pitch direction: focusing distance f=200mm when S-E70200 is used. Firmware must be updated to the latest version.

High image quality even in high sensitivity photo/video and Dual I.S. to suppress virtually any type of blurring

The LUMIX S5 contains a 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor (35.6 mm x 23.8mm). The LUMIX S5 boasts a wide dynamic range and reproduces sharp images with exceptional clarity. Noise is minimised even when shot at maximum ISO 51,200 high sensitivity. It is an ideal camera to use especially in low-light situations.

The LUMIX S5 features Dual Native ISO sensitivity, the technology that was first introduced in the Panasonic professional cinema camera VariCam line-up. Normally, noise increases as sensitivity rises with a single native ISO image sensor. However, the image sensor with Dual Native ISO in the S5 minimises noise generation by choosing an optimal circuit to use according to the sensitivity before gain processing. As a result, it allows a maximum ISO 51,200 high sensitivity recording. Dual Native ISO gives film creators a greater variety of artistic choices as well as the ability to use less light on the set, saving time. The LUMIX S5’s Dual Native ISOs are 640 and 40001.

Taking full advantage of its high-resolution sensor, the LUMIX S5 provides a High Resolution mode that faithfully reproduces precise details to be saved as beautiful, highly realistic images not only RAW but also in JPEG. Eight consecutive images are automatically shot while shifting the sensor using the Body I.S. (Image Stabiliser) mechanism and synthesised into a 96-megapixel equivalent (12,000 x 8,000-pixel) image by the Venus Engine, which boasts high-speed signal processing. This high-resolution photo is ideal for landscape photography of stationary subjects or artwork with delicate details using a tripod. However, it can also be used in situations where moving subjects are included in the scene, by switching the sub mode.

The LUMIX S5 integrates the Body I.S. (Image Stabiliser) for powerful handshake correction. Panasonic developed an algorithm that precisely calculates shaky movements sensed by the gyro sensor, image sensor and accelerometer sensor. This enables more accurate shake detection and compensation, making it possible to use a 5-stop slower shutter speed2. Combining the Body I.S. (5-axis) in the camera and the O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabiliser, 2-axis) in the LUMIX S Series lens, the 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 the correction power is maximised to allow 6.5-stop slower shutter speed3. It is highly beneficial in telephoto shots and in adverse situations, such as in low-light or with one-handed shooting. The 5-axis Dual I.S. 2 works for both photo and video recording, including 4K. The Body I.S. compensates for camera movement even when other L-Mount lenses without O.I.S. are used.

With the new Live View Composite function, the camera releases the shutter at designated intervals of exposure time and synthesises the parts with high luminosity to produce a single picture. While the total brightness of each consecutive image is accumulated in bulb shooting, only the target subject, the bright parts of an image, are detected and the user can synthesise them carefully while seeing it in live view. This is useful for capturing shots of fireworks or stars in the night sky where the background needs no gain-increase.

1 When recording mode is set to V-Log. The sensitivity varies depending on the recording mode.

2 Based on the CIPA standard Yaw/Pitch direction: focusing distance f=60mm when S-R2060 is used.

3 Based on the CIPA standard Yaw/Pitch direction: focusing distance f=200mm when S-E70200 is used

Exceptional video recording performance for cinema-quality film creation

As a pioneer of photo/video hybrid mirrorless cameras, LUMIX has the largest lineup1 of cameras that record 4K 10-bit video. As the latest member of the family, the LUMIX S5 is capable of 4K 60p 4:2:0 10-bit, and 4K 30p 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording up to 30 minutes. It is also capable of 4K 60p4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output. For 4K 30p 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording, there is no time limit. It will comply with RAW video output to ATOMOS NINJA V over HDMI as well as C4K video recording with the future firmware update (which will be detailed in Chapter 6).

Dynamic range measures the luminance range that a digital camera can capture. The LUMIX S5 delivers 14+ stops of Dynamic Range, which are virtually the same as those of the Panasonic cinema cameras, to precisely reproduce everything from dark to bright areas. The ability to capture accurate colours and rich skin tones is a must for any filmmaker. The LUMIX S5 imports the renowned colorimetry of the VariCam lineup of cinema cameras. The LUMIX S5 contains V-Log/V-Gamut capture to deliver a high dynamic range and broad colours. V-Log renders a very flat image while maintaining all of the colour information within the image. This means that there is a greater level of play when the images are put through post-production processes. The CMOS sensor of the LUMIX S5 achieves a wide colour gamut known as V-Gamut, which is the S5’s optimum colour space and achieves a colour space that is wider than BT.2020. V-Log has log curve characteristics that are somewhat reminiscent of negative film and V-Gamut delivers a colour space even larger than film. 35 conversion LUTs for VariCam cinema cameras can be downloaded free of charge for use in the LUMIX S5. It is easy to match the colour tone with the footage recorded in V-Log of S1H/S1 and V-Log L of GH5/GH5S. Practical tools like a Waveform Monitor and V-Log View Assist are also available.

With Slow & Quick mode, impressive video slow and quick motion video in 4K(1-60fps, 30x quick to 2.5x slow) or in FHD (1-180fps, 60x quick to 7.5x slow) is available. It is possible to use AF2 to capture the subject in sharp focus in this mode, too. It can also be accessed directly using the mode dial.

The HDR (High Dynamic Range) video recording in 4K is also available, which reproduces both the bright parts and dark parts of an image, making it appear as if seen in person. The camera records video with a designated gamma curve compatible with ITU-R BT.2100, and the user can now choose Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) in Photo Style. The HLG3 Photo mode provides a wider dynamic range to reproduce light and shadow with more natural contrast. The HLG Photos can also be produced as an HSP file4 with compressed high-brightness signals in its full resolution (5,888 x 3,312, in 16:9) in addition to JPEG/RAW files. The user can playback these vibrant images on the latest Panasonic HLG-compliant 4KTV via HDMI cable connection or other HLG-compliant devices.

For more continuous burst shooting, 6K PHOTO5 makes it possible to capture unmissable moments at 30 fps by extracting the frame with the best timing out of a 6K burst file (in 4:3 or 3:2 aspect ratio) to save as an approximate 18-megapixel equivalent high-resolution photo.

1 Of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, as of September 2, 2020

2 The AF mode switches to MF when the frame rate is set to of 150 fps or more. The angle of view is reduced when the frame rate is set to 180 fps. Recording stops when the continuous recording time exceeds 30 minutes.

3 “HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)” is an international standard (ITU-R BT.2100) HDR format.

4 “HSP” is an HDR picture format using HLG format video technology.

5 6K PHOTO’ is a high speed burst shooting function that cuts a still image out of a 4:3 or 3:2 video footage with approx.18-megapixel (approx. 6000 x 3000 effective pixel count) that the 6K image manages.

High-speed, high-precision AF achieved supported by real-time detection technology

The LUMIX S5 boasts high-speed, high-precision AF in both photo shooting and video recording. Combining the Contrast AF with DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology, it focuses on the target in approximately 0.08 sec1. As a camera that excels in low-light shooting, the LUMIX S5 boasts -6EV2 luminance detection performance with Low Light AF thanks to the higher sensitivity and optimised tuning of the sensor. Allowing maximum 480 fps communication speed between the sensor and the lens, users can take full advantage of this high-speed, high-precision AF when LUMIX S Series lens is used.

The LUMIX S5 also incorporates an advanced deep learning technology that detects specific subjects like humans and fast-moving animals. Notably for humans, the head is separately recognised from the eye, face and body by real-time detection technology to provide even more precise focusing. The camera continually tracks an individual even if they move quickly, turn their back to the camera, tilt their head or move far away from the camera. On the other hand, improvements to the DFD technology has enhanced AFC, which also enables users to keep tracking small or fast-moving subjects to capture them in crisp focus.

1 11EV, at wide-end with S-R24105 (CIPA) in LVF120 fps setting.

2 At ISO100, F1.4, AFS

Reliable basic performance and expandability for creative freedom

The LUMIX S5 boasts outstanding mobility yet excels in basic performance and expandability. To withstand heavy field use, the LUMIX S5 is composed of a magnesium alloy full die-cast body and is splash/dust-resistant1. With an optimum layout of heat dispersion components, heat is effectively transferred outside which results in stable, continuous video recording for a long time.

The LUMIX S5 has a large LVF (Live View Finder) with a high magnification ratio of approx. 0.74x. High-precision, high-speed OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display features 2,360K-dot high resolution. Adoption of OLED for the LVF achieves high speed response with minimum time lag of less than 0.005 sec. With an eye-point of approximately 20 mm, it offers high visibility with comfort for users wearing glasses.

A 3.0-inch free-angle LCD in 3:2 aspect with 1,840K-dot high resolution provides touch control. Composition during recording in various popular aspect ratios such as 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, 4:5, 5:4 and 9:16 can be checked with the Frame Marker function. The REC Frame Indicator identifies whether the camera is recording or not.

The LUMIX S5 has a double SD Memory Card slot. One slot complies with UHS-I and the other with the high-speed, high-capacity UHS-II (Video Class 90). The camera’s battery can be recharged either via AC or USB according to the user’s convenience.

Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (called BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy) enables constant connection with a smartphone/tablet with minimum power consumption. The settings of a LUMIX S5 camera can also be copied and transmitted wirelessly to other S5 cameras when using multiple S5 cameras. Wi-Fi 5-GHz (IEEE802.11ac) 2 also is effective in addition to 2.4-GHz (IEEE802.11b/g/n.) This provides secure and stable connection on location for smooth remote control and high-speed data transfer.

1 Dust and Splash Resistant does not guarantee that damage will not occur if this lens is subjected to direct contact with dust and water.

2 5GHz Wi-Fi is not available in some countries.

Optional accessories and application software

A variety of accessories can be used for the LUMIX S5 to enhance its usability and convenience. Microphone Adaptor (DMW-XLR1) is a plug-in type adaptor for an XLR microphone to record high-quality stereo sound. It is ideal for lip-sync recording. Dedicated switches allow direct, quick control. MIC, LINE and CONDENSER MICROPHONES are switchable. Battery Grip (DMW-BGS5) allows approximately 940 pictures (using the LVF) / 3000 pictures (in Power Save LVF mode) with an extra battery inside the grip. More accessories such as Remote Shutter (DMW-RS2), DC coupler (DMW-DCC17), Tripod Grip (DMW-SHGR1) are available.

Application software LUMIX Tether enables tethered shooting via USB. Users can control the camera by connecting it to a PC via USB. It lets them view the image on a large PC screen while shooting. For live streaming, LUMIX Tether for Streaming (Beta) with LIVE VIEW mode can be used.

The LUMIX Sync application for iOS/Android devices enables photo transmission to a smartphone or a tablet via easy wireless connection. It also allows remote control of the camera using these devices.

Future Firmware Update

To further enhance its performance, a firmware update is scheduled for the LUMIX S5 by the end of 2020. In addition to C4K video recording, it will support RAW video data output to ATOMOS NINJA V over HDMI at a resolution of 5.9K (5888×3312) 29.97p/25p, 4K(4128×2176) 59.94p/50p and Anamorphic 3.5K (3536×2656)/50p. A variety of video recording assist functions such as the Vector Scope Display, Master Pedestal Adjustment and SS/Gain Operation(SEC/ISO, ANGLE/ISO, SEC/dB) will also be available. L.MonochromeS and L.ClassicNeo are the new options to be added for Photo Style.

Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 specifications


MSRP £1,799 (body only), £1,999 (w/20-60mm lens), including UK Value Added Tax at 20%

Body type

Body type SLR-style mirrorless

Body material Magnesium alloy


Max resolution 6000 x 4000

Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9

Effective pixels 24 megapixels

Sensor photo detectors 25 megapixels

Sensor size Full frame (35.6 x 23.8 mm)

Sensor type CMOS


Venus Engine

Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB

Color filter array Primary color filter


ISO Auto, 100-51200 (expands to 50-204800)

Boosted ISO (minimum) 50

Boosted ISO (maximum) 204800

White balance presets 5

Custom white balance Yes (4 slots)

Image stabilisation Sensor-shift

Image stabilisation notes 5-axis Dual IS 2

CIPA image stabilisation rating 6.5 stop(s)

Uncompressed format RAW

JPEG quality levels Fine, standard

File format

JPEG (Exif v2.31)

Raw (Panasonic RW2, 12-bit)

HLG (CTA-2072)

Optics & Focus


Contrast Detect (sensor)



Selective single-point





Face Detection

Live View

Autofocus assist lamp Yes

Manual focus Yes

Number of focus points 225

Lens mount

Leica L

Focal length multiplier 1×

Screen / viewfinder

Articulated LCD Fully articulated

Screen size 3″

Screen dots 1,840,000

Touch screen Yes

Screen type TFT LCD

Live view Yes

Viewfinder type Electronic

Viewfinder coverage 100%

Viewfinder magnification 0.74×

Viewfinder resolution 2,360,000

Photography features

Minimum shutter speed 60 sec

Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec

Exposure modes


Aperture priority

Shutter priority


Built-in flash No

External flash Yes (via hot shoe)

Flash modes Auto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Forced On/Red-eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Slow Syn./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off

Flash X sync speed 1/250 sec

Continuous drive 7.0 fps

Self-timer Yes

Metering modes





Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)

AE Bracketing ±3 (3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)

Videography features

Format MPEG-4, H.264, H.265


3840 x 2160 @ 60p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM

3840 x 2160 @ 50p / 200 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM

3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 150 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM

3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 150 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM

3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 150 Mbps, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM

3328 x 2496 @ 30p / 150 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

3328 x 2496 @ 23.98p / 150 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 100 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM

Microphone Stereo

Speaker Mono


Storage types Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots (UHS-II supported in slot 1)


USB USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)

USB charging Yes (Power Delivery supported)

HDMI Yes (micro HDMI)

Microphone port Yes

Headphone port Yes

Wireless Built-In

Wireless notes 802.11ac (dual-band) + Bluetooth

Remote control Yes (wired or via smartphone)


Environmentally sealed Yes

Battery Battery Pack

Battery description DMW-BLK22 lithium-ion battery and charger

Battery Life (CIPA) 440

Weight (inc. batteries) 714 g (1.57 lb / 25.19 oz)

Dimensions 133 x 97 x 82 mm (5.24 x 3.82 x 3.23″)

Other features

Orientation sensor Yes

Timelapse recording Yes

GPS None


  1. I suspect the discussion about menu and feature complications is one of the appeals with Fuji. Lens aperture rings, shutter and iso dials, exposure comp dials. You can do every basic photography setting without ever looking at the menus. The new Xpro3 takes it somewhat further down the M10-D pathway by relegating the rear screen to almost an afterthought, and adds an optional-use optical viewfinder to the equation. These things have a lot of appeal to many of us.

    Not least of the attractiveness of the new S5 to me is the aperture ring on the 45mm, but also the very simple dial setups. Panasonic menus are relatively straight forward, but with 3 custom positions on the mode dial, three programmable control wheels and a joystick, you could set it up once and largely avoid menu visits altogether. It also has the drive modes on a tactile wheel, something I’ve valued for a long time. It seems a relatively small and uncluttered camera. That’s appealing.

    • Jason, this very much is part of the appeal of the S5 for me. A dedicated ISO button (like Nikon), dedicated focus mode dial and, as you mentioned, one for drive mode too ( the Sony A9 II that I used for a while had this and it is a very nice convenience) and it is indeed basically a menu free experience.

      I’ve struggled with Fuji. The X-T1 was the only model I owned for a reasonable period of time and which I genuinely enjoyed using. It was the closest digital equivalent to the Yashica FX-3 and Contax S2 that I grew up with and learned photography with. Subsequent models, the E3 and notably the X-Pro 2 (that Q menu button placement) both left me wanting.

  2. Interesting point: digital cameras work through pyramidal menus (main, submenu, etc) at least all I used. No other interface or icon like procedures were developed. Comparing that with cellphones or tablets software it is the stone age, resembling computers working with ms-dos.

    • This is mostly true, but there have been a few attempts at alternative approaches that are closer to the icon based menus found on smartphones, most notably by Leica with the T/TL/TL2, a walkthrough of which is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWD33Ba3-Yc

      I owned the TL2 for a while and recently borrowed a T to test L-Mount lenses for this post: https://www.macfilos.com/2020/08/24/taking-a-closer-look-at-the-l-mount-line-up-the-comprehensive-macfilos-lens-database/ – and the menu design not only holds up but feels as relevant and fresh today as it did when the T was launched in 2014.

      There was a shot-lived trend of camera/smartphone hybrids that ran Android which consequently meant that they had smartphone menus, notably the Samsung Galaxy Camera 1, Camera 2 and NX, the latter of which was a “real” ILC with and APS-C sensor (https://www.samsung.com/uk/cameras/galaxy-nx-gn120zka/). Panasonic also tried their hand at it with the CM-1.

      Lastly, the most extreme alternative approach, which has less to do with menu design itself, but more the overall UX, which is around pulling out and replicating menu functions with dedicated and/or customizable hardware buttons and dials on the camera body. An approach which Fuji and Olympus are known for and which Nikon tried in the Df and Panasonic has taken with the S1/S1R/S1H and S5. My point here being that it is worth taking into account the interplay between menus and hardware interfaces (which smartphones have necessarily few of).

      • Thank you
        The first video shows a more friendly approach certainly, where traditional list menu has become a grill one. Basically the same but with versatility to easily handle or delete them.
        I never handled the T menu, but the Samsung Android one is a messy hybrid because most of the options aren’t necessary at all for a photographer (handling files? …)
        At the time we live a voice managed one is not a thing of the future, for instance. That’s not really desirable for me, neither a touch screen based one that would require take hand of my reading glasses. In fact I keep always the screen off.
        But, the need of passing through a lot of options every time you need to change just one is really annoying.
        Also, digital cameras have far too many options.

        • One of the problems is that manufacturers have to get involved in box-ticking exercises where prospective buyers (and reviewers) play one camera off against another, getting excited about all the esoteric settings that most of us never use. Even video, frankly, is something I don’t use, so Leica’s recent quick menu separating video and photo is welcome. There is only one digital camera that keeps options to a minimum and that is the Leica M. The M10, for instance, doesn’t attempt to compete with the opposition except in terms of image quality. There’s no AF to get excited about, and relatively few controls. I quite like Leica’s new menu systems (which are all now similar to the CL). My M10-D goes on step further by omitting the rear screen. I usually turn the screen off, the same as you.

          • Thanks Mike
            Maybe I’ll dream up again with an M10 Monochrom. But, I think, as you say, CL menu is close to rational. I never use favorites because that means having one more menu in mind, and the new status screen doesn’t make thing really easier. For the monochrome, I decided use just JPG b&w, and that’s my M!0.
            Perhaps the solution is having all options, making your choice and then make all menus disappear. A few profiles, ISO, shutter speed, aperture. That’s all.

          • Yes, I agree that would be a good idea. In a way, that’s the purpose of the Favourites or the new Q menu, I suppose.But a method of shunting all the unwanted stuff off into a locked room would be neat…

  3. Hi Mike, I think you missed my earlier comment. The panasonic S1 row in your table is incorrect. You are missing the S1R and the sigma fp.

    • The table done a few weeks ago and I just re-used it. I think I deliberately omitted the higher resolution Panasonics because the main focus was on weight comparison. I also omitted the Sigma because it is a bit of an outlier. If I do the table again I might extend it. But it wasn’t intended to be a comprehensive database, simply a comparison of weights on vaguely competitor cameras.

      • Hi Mike, well the Panasonic S1 in your table does not have 47 MP. Personally, I would have included the fp but I like the camera as a stills camera and I think it vaguely is a competitor certainly on the v logger aspect…………

        • As I say, I can’t quite remember my logic when I did that table. I think I was comparing the S5 with the S1 from the point of view of the 24MP sensor, but then the others had higher res. Perhaps we need a comprehensive list of cameras or, at least, just L-mount. We are looking at that, something on the lines of the lens database.

    • Hi, I would not be afraid. I had no problem with the Panasonic S1 and S1R menus and manual. I have gone through hell with the SL2 manual in comparison. It is like reading an IBM manual in the 1980s. The SL was a natural camera to use. The SL2 works better with m glass but if I did not own M glass I would prefer the S1 or S1R or Leica SL.
      I also had trouble with the SL2 camera having a mind of its own doing things like randomly changing settings such as DNG to JPEG. I finally fixed that by resetting the camera. I hope this gets better or the S1R is going to have a renewed future.

    • The S1R menu is very logical to use. The only problem I have had is the ridiculous amount of customisation that is available, and in my case simply ignored once the basics are set up.
      The SL601 is so easy to use by comparison.

  4. More and more I see the future of APS-C being challenged… With both Canon and Sony rumored to release FF systems at a price point below $1K, probably without EVF, it could be an uphill battle for APS-C systems… Perhaps a well-established system like Fuji can survive but even for them it won’t be easy I feel…

    • I am also wondering about APS-C now that smaller FF cameras are arriving – with an announcement from Sony expected this month. I can see a place for MFT because of the unrivalled weight saving of the lenses, but the difference between APS-C and FF is narrowing. I will eat these words if Leica goes whole hog into a new CL and new lenses, but for now I’m not holding my breath.

  5. Thank you for this one Mike, and for the data sheets. The L mount alliance is starting to provide some interesting prospects for the future, and will keep lenses and models coming for years now. Smart move by Leica to open this up to other parties.

    What is interesting that including its battery the body is around 50g lighter than my Nikon Df, and I have always considered that to be a light FF camera – in fact that is one of the things that is nice about it. The Q2 falls between the S5 and DF in weight terms. So that will give people a good idea of what it will be like in the hands weight wise, but perhaps not ergonomically.

  6. well, as a Stills shooter, it certainly answers the call for a lighter, smaller and somewhat cheaper Full Frame offering. If i’m happy to carry the G9 – and I am – then the same weight and dimensions with a much bigger sensor (and a few extra megapixels) certainly makes some sense.

    For me, I think its a bit overpriced – 3000 thousand australian dollars vs the Nikon Z5 at 2500 -, but then I’d make little use of the undoubtedly strong video features of the S5. And the current deal to include the 45/2.8 changes the equation completely. That makes the S5 purchase price effectively 2300 dollars, which is absolutely decent.

    It raises some tough questions for me. It would make my Pentax K1 dslr pretty redundant (although I’d be losing 10mp resolution), so i could offset the cost by selling the Pentax gear. I’d also have to give serious thought to the G9 and MFT in general. Consolidate down to the diminutive Em5 Markiii and prime lenses – plus a longer telephoto to enjoy the crop factor advantages- to maximise the MFT advantage of true lightweight travel options and use the money freed up towards the S5 as an everyday camera? It certainly has some merit, mainly around ISO performance. I recently used the G9 at ISO800 for indoor birthday shots, and online comparisons show the S series is superior to the G9’s ISO800 at well over ISO2000. The “shooting envelope” is being pushed further and further. The beauty of the S5 is that it doesn’t come at a size penalty. Well, as longs as one sticks to the smaller lenses. And here the new 1.8’s become very relevant.

    Ahh yes, decisions decisions.

    • The other pleasing news is that for stills shooting, C-AF seems dramatically improved in usage. It appears to remain problematic for Video guys, but that rarely applies to me. In fact, I wouldn’t be fussed if they omitted most of the clever video features and put in a somewhat higher EVF resolution. But hey, they haven’t built this camera specifically for me. It just happens to tick quite a few photography boxes….

      • Aaaaandddd one further complication. I just realised how much i enjoy using the Panasonic Leica 15mm summilux and Panasonic Leica 42.5mm Nocticron on Panasonic bodies. Hmmm. So, i couldn’t ONLY have an Oly Em5iii.

        Sigh. What was that recent article from Andrew pondering whether you can ever have too many camera’s?

  7. I very much hope that we will see a Leica version. I was in the Leica London Mayfair store today and held an SL2 and 35mm SL lens, a very heavy combination indeed. Another store told me they get many new cameras traded in because of the weight being too much.

    But with the reduced resolution of the EVF? I wonder if a Leica version would have a better EVF.

    • Agree that a Leica version of the S5 would be very exciting.

      Re the weight of the SL2, I had the original SL (which was one of my favourite cameras) but over time is lost out to the Nikon Z6, partially because of weight and partially because of AF, lowlight performance, lack of stabilisation.

      However, I traded in pretty much all of my gear to get the SL2, not only because of the technical improvements but because the 47MP sensor opened up the viability of using smaller, lighter TL lenses in APS-C mode. I’ve got both the Elmarit 18mm (which weighs only 80g) and the Vario Elmar TL 55-135mm (500g) and both of these are great with the SL2.

      Previously, the only light lens L-mount lens for the SL had been the Sigma 45mm (which is still, of course, a great option for the SL2).

  8. Interesting move. Definitely fills a hole for a smaller FF camera. Also interesting to see pre-order discounts being advertised. London Camera Exchange offering a ‘free’ Sigma 45mm 2.8 – which is an excellent lens whose size suits the S5. Take that, along with the excellent deal on the 20-60mm, and this looks to be well priced. Shame about the low-res EVF, which puts it behind the A7 and X-T4.

  9. The good news for all S1/S1R owners is the promised firmware update by the end of 2020 which will bring the improved auto-focus used in the S5 to that model.

  10. The S5 looks more like the SL2 than the S1R that came before it! I think a mini SL2 (perhaps using the wonderful 24MP M10 sensor) priced at USD 4k would be a massive hit…

  11. Great options for L-mount. The 1.8 glass will be of great interest to me and I know many photographers are looking for this instead of bragging rights for a bazooka sized lens family.
    The S1 will possibly be a v loggers dream in addition to being a compact stills camera.
    The L-mount environment is definitely becoming a success.

  12. Sounds to have a lot going for it, but I should like to know how much room its files take up on a hard disc and what the total weight is with the 20-60mm lens. I like the fact that it also has 1:1 in camera framing. Might just tempt me over into FF, but I don’t really have a convincing reason………

    • The S5 together with the 20-60 zoom weighs 924g. The 20-60 is a lightweight zoom because it is relatively slow, but I accept that in return for portability. By way of comparison, the S1 and 24-70 S Pro weighs 1,954g, over a kilogram heavier than the S5. It’s quite a staggering difference given that, from a still point of view, the image quality will be identical.

      The RAW files should occupy about 24MP of disk space, similar to the S1 and the old SL. Although I haven’t handled this camera, it seems to answer the general request for a smaller full-frame camera to compete with Sony and Nikon. And the new emphasis on lightweight, slightly slower primes is to be welcomed.

      • Mike, am excited about the S5 for the weight reasons you’ve pointed out but, perhaps am even more excited about the lenses.

        Particularly at the 35mm focal length where options have to date been thin (odd, actually, given the popularity of this focal length). The only lightweight option being the Leica Summicron TL 23mm/f2 at 154g (itself really on viable on the CL, T/TL/TL2, SL2 and S1R bodies) the rest are all heavy:

        – Leica APO-Summicron-SL 35 f/2: 750g | GBP 3,900
        – Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN: 1,090g | GBP 1,460
        – Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM: 755g | GBP 620

        Not only are they heavy, they’re all rather pricey, so these new Panasonic lenses can’t come soon enough!

        • I am particularly interested in the 20-60mm lens that is coming in the S5 kit (for only £200 more than the body, representing a 60% discount on the retail price of the lens. I have the 24-105, which I acquired cheaply in the same way (with the S1 kit, subsequently selling the body when the SL2 arrived) and the 24-105 is an excellent lens. If the 20-60 is as good I will be pleased. And neither of these lenses belongs to the Pro-Leica-certified range. The 20-60 should also be a perfect match for the CL, offering 30-90mm effective range, not far from Leica’s TL 18-56.

          The Panasonic 20-60 is 100g heavier than the Leica APS-C lens (at 350g) but it is more versatile, offering full-sensor cover on both APS-C and FF. It also has the bonus that, when used on a full-frame camera, is has a unique range. 20mm is wider than you get on other lenses with a 60/70mm reach and I think it will be very useful, perhaps avoiding the need for a separate wide-angle zoom.

          Of course, I haven’t used it yet. But the initial reviews are good and, as I said, if it is as good as the 24-105 I won’t be disappointed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.